From Sport To City Council

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

Years back I had the privilege of meeting and dealing with Cliff Annable who at that time was the owner of the BCHL Surrey Eagles hockey club.

He was professional and direct in what his focus was for his recent acquisition and pulled no strings that he wanted his new team to win the National Championship Trophy.

Along with myself, Joey Kenward and Cam Moon were fortunate to be the broadcast team for the 1998 Championships in Nanaimo and one thing I can mention is that he was always open for any interview request we had – which were many!!

Cliff openly and often spoke with various team Managers about living life on Canada’s West Coast and how we are so fortunate to live in an area with so much beauty, as he put it “especially in White Rock by the Pier.”

In addition to owning the Surrey Eagles he was a White Rock City Council Member, local businessman and Rotarian.

News of his passing was sent out via social media Tuesday March 5th and is remembered by everyone for his generous community involvement in vast areas and to date, it is not known as the reason for his passing.

The Surrey Eagles managed to win the Championship in 1998 and were coached by Mark Holick who is also a South Surrey resident and mentioned to me at one of the Surrey Eagle games recently that he (Cliff) was “one of the best people I’ve ever worked for.”

Cliff was an Executive Director of the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and retired this past summer, a job he not on took on but became extremely familiar with in January 2012.

In addition to his other endeavors he became a member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club in 1994,  a Director of KidSport as well as serving on several organizations within the community.

Other such organizations, include the Semiahmoo Volunteer Community Policing Society, Peace Arch Hospital Partners in Caring Campaign and the White Rock/South Surrey Foundation.

His love for the community noted that he was honoured by the City of White Rock as one of two ‘Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula,’ an award that isn’t handed out to just anyone.

When he was away from the rink, the summer months saw him as a regular fan at Softball City taking in all the game action at the Canada Cup, to which he was “floored” when Fast Pitch was taken out of the Olympics.

During the games you could quite often see him talking to Glen Todd and Greg Timm about how to improve the “fan experience” for the Families that were attending.

He was constantly on the look-out for ideas as to how to improve the City and bring more visitors to the area and as he mentioned to me on more than one occasion “to welcome the world.”

His passion from my time spent with him was talking about hockey and sport, mostly amateur as well as telling me about how much he loved listening to Canuck Anthem singer Mark Donnelly sing, everything from the Canuck Anthem to his rendition of Danny Boy.

A note sent out on Social Media from Bob Bezubiak, Manager of TD Bank mentioned that a meeting had been planned with Annable for Tuesday afternoon to talk about plans for raising funds towards the rebuilding of the White Rock Pier.

Cliff and his Wife Maureen, recently welcomed a new grandchild into the world.